Satoshi Kondo and his design team at Issey Miyake embarked on an exciting journey of creativity and innovation with their latest collection, “The Square and Beyond“. The starting point for the collection was a simple black square on a white piece of paper, which was transformed and molded into artful, elegant garments.
The process of exploration allowed the team to discover new shapes and forms, resulting in a collection that introduces a new sense of “ma“, the Japanese word that refers to the negative space between a garment and its wearer. The pieces in this collection have a unique relationship with the people wearing them, creating a fresh and exciting dynamic.
Kondo experimented with various materials and techniques, including knits and intentional shrinkage of fabrics. For instance, the top of a black and white dress began as a knitted square that was shaped into an organic, irregular loop around one shoulder. The skirt of the dress, which also started as a square, was made of recycled woven polyester fabric, draping down in folds.
The designer also played with the use of contrasting colors, such as red and gray, and bright hues, like banana, to highlight the fascinating shape-shifting qualities of the garments. A seamless knit bodysuit in violet with angular shapes sprouting from the hips and ankles is a perfect example of this.
Despite the transformation of the black square, Kondo ensured that elements of the square remained in each piece, albeit in a subtle and nuanced manner. The collection was showcased at the Théâtre du Chatelet, with a live marimba rendition of Simeon ten Holt’s “Canto Ostinato” by the Trio SR9 as the audio backdrop. This was the same music that Kondo listened to while creating the clothes, adding an extra layer of inspiration to the already captivating collection.